Public sector Welsh meat urge

Local authorities are being urged not to reduce spending on quality Welsh produce for their schools and nursing homes if their budgets are cut due to the recession.

The call was made by Rees Roberts, chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales at the start the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Llanelwedd.

Roberts said: “While we have been successful in convincing most local authorities and health boards of the benefits of buying Welsh, there are always new challenges on the horizon. There is no doubt that the recession is one of them. The public sector will find its budget squeezed in the years to come, forcing local authorities to make tough choices about the level of services to the public.

“I would appeal to them that one area where they don’t reduce costs is in the purchase of food for our children, elderly and sick. It’s important that the young and most vulnerable in our society continue to be offered the best meat available and, to my mind, that meat is Welsh.”

Roberts added that the current situation was that the majority of local authorities and NHS trusts, which make up the bulk of public procurement agencies in Wales, opted for Welsh produce wherever possible.